Spring Flowers, English Gardens

by 2uesday

Spring is a beautiful time in the English garden.The first flowers are the dainty snowdrops, then in quick succession the bright spring flowers arrive bringing color to the garden.

There are many varieties of snowdrop. This is a popular flower because of its pure and delicate beauty and it is also one of the first flowers to push through in the early months of the year.

The bright yellow flowers of aconite are also an early spring bloom. Soon the garden borders are full of the colour of the crocus flowers and then the bobbing heads of the daffodils and narcissi arrive.


A favorite spring bloom in the English garden

The first flowers to appear in an English garden in spring time is the delicate looking snowdrop. The snowdrop may be thought of as a pure white flower but there are many varieties of snowdrops and some of them have green markings on the white petals.  Some snowdrop varieties have an attractive green heart shaped mark on the petals.

What makes the snowdrop special and why is it loved by the English? This plant flowers very early in the year often after the cold weather in the winter months when the gardens have very few plants in flowers.  As it is very early to flower it is often seen as one of the first sign of spring.

The way that the snowdrop found its way into the traditional English cottage garden is interesting.

How the snowdrop became an English spring time flower. In the 1850's the snowdrop was introduced into English gardens by being brought home by the soldiers returning from the Crimean War. 

Galanthus - this part of the plant's name means milk flower.

The snowdrop can have pure white petals or have green markings on the white petals.  Some of the snowdrop varieties have an attractive green heart shaped mark on the white of the petals.

The height the plant will achieve also varies with some being diminutive while others are taller.

According to the R.H.S. Plant Finder - (The Royal Horticultural Society)  there are over 150  cultivars of the snowdrop.


Snowdrops an early spring flower.

snowdrop flower
snowdrop flower

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Picture of a winter aconite.
Winter Aconite Flower
Winter Aconite Flower


A spot of color like sunshine in the garden.

The aconite will happily flower in places where many plants would fail to flourish such as in  the shady areas cast by some trees. This ability to thrive and bloom beneath deciduous trees is partly due to the aconite flowering early and growing before the trees have produced their leaf canopy.

The flowers of aconites are a bright rich golden yellow and they are a relative of the buttercup plant.

  • This plant will self seed and spread to form carpets of flowers in the spring time if left to naturalise.
  • This is a plant requires a well drained fertile soil.

Aconites and snowdrops will grow well together and look much better together than if they are planted with bulbs like the crocus or daffodils.

Crocus Flowers

Crocus bulbs are easy to grow and can be left to natualise and spread in the garden. This spring flowering bulb is happy to grow in a lawn or garden border.

Crocus flowers
Crocus flowers
Crocus flowers
Crocus flowers


Daffodils this spring flower comes in many varieties.

Daffodils left to naturalise and multiply can form a carpet and will flourish. The worst thing about daffodils in the garden is that they have an 'untidy time' when the flowers are finished but you need to leave the leaves on and not cut them off to tidy them up. So if you are not happy to put up with this straggly leaf stage then it might be better to plant something else. I have even see the leaves bundled together and bent over with an elastic band to hold them in a neater bundle. Now come on gardeners, that is a bit over the top in garden tidiness is it not?

daffodil flower
daffodil flower
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Hellebore Flower.

Photo 2uesday's
Photo 2uesday's
the hellebore flower


The hellebore is also called the Christmas Rose or the Lenten Rose.

This is a plant that is willing to grow in an area of dappled shade in the garden. It  blooms in late winter or the early spring time, Hellebore plants flower between December and May depending on the variety and the weather.

Tidying up hellebore plants. This plant sometimes needs some of its leaves removed to tidy them up and to allow the blooms to be seen to their full advantage.


The Yellow Flowers of the Winter Flowering Jasmine.

This is a garden shrub that flowers through the winter months and into spring time.
photo of winter flowering jasmine
photo of winter flowering jasmine
photo by 2uesday

Winter Flowering Jasmine.

A garden plant that adds height to the flower border. This garden shrub has yellow flowers in the winter and early spring time.
  • The winter flowering jasmine is a useful garden plant as it has delicate yellow blossoms on it at times of the year when the garden can lack flowers, i.e. winter and very early spring.

Although it can be classed as a climber it has no twisting tendrils of suckers to attach itself to things for support as it gets taller. The stems of this plant are almost as pliable as those of young willow. Gently bending the stems through a support seems to make them produce more flowers, they are dainty in the way they flower and would look lovely set against a wall or a willow hurdle style of fence.


The winter jasmine in the photo is one that grows in my garden and it has had flowers on it in the months of January and February this year. This plant tends to produce more blooms on the stems in mild weather or sunny spells, but I am grateful to see even a few yellow blossoms on it in the winter and early spring.

Pretty Primroses

A traditional flower of the spring.

Primroses are another spring plant that can be seen growing wild in the woods and countryside. You can buy the cultivated  from reputable plant suppliers and plant them in the garden. 

  • Primroses are a low growing plant so they mix well with spring bulbs or at the front of flower borders in the garden.

These are a traditional spring time flower and I prefer to see them to the brightly coloured primulas and primrose type flowers that are frequently sold in pots for planting in the garden and containers,

Primrose Flowers.

Primroses can be seen growing in woods, but they also grow well in the garden as a spring plant.
primroses in an English garden
primroses in an English garden
photo by 2uesday
Cowslip Flowers in Cottage Gardens.
  • Cowslips are also a flower that grows in hedgerows.  

They  look good in the garden, especially gardens with a old fashioned cottage garden look to them. they are easy to grow and can be bought ready to plant from plant nurseries. Once planted the flowers will reappear each spring and the rest of the time you will just forget they are there.

A photo of cowslip flowers.

cowslip flowers
cowslip flowers
photo by 2uesday/Sue

English Bluebells

Beautiful growing in the wild or in a garden.

Bluebells grow wild in woodlands and hedgerows in the English countryside,unfortunately non-native bluebells have now joined the native bluebells that grow here. 

April and May are the best months for bluebells but in a mild year they will be earlier but they will be later following a harsh winter. Bluebells like to grow in moist shady areas which is why they flourish in a woodland setting. 

Here is a page about this flower and the much loved bluebell woods open for bluebell walks in England.

A link to a BBC page about English bluebells 




Garden flowers for cutting -the Anemone for Late Spring.

A pretty spring garden flower that can be used for cut flowers.

The anemone (coronaria) is usually planted as small bulbs. Put them in the garden or in a large flower pot from August onward (in the UK). They need to be planted about 5cm deep and the at least the same distance apart (5cm is about 2" ).

  • Anemones like a sunny place in the garden or a semi-shade location.
  • These garden plants flower in the months May/June.

When they have finished flowering allow their foliage to die back naturally which will allow them to produce flowers in the following year.

Sometimes as alternative to planting them as small bulbs, you can buy these plants at a plant nursery, where they will have planted them so that they are ready started in pots.

The flowers look delicate and come in a range of beautiful shades some being bright red, others pink and mauve shades and some are white.

Whatever colours they bloom in they look wonderful together whether in the garden or cut and brought into the house and arranged in a glass bowl or vintage china jug. 

These anemone flowers are also called windflowers and are they are so pretty that often featured in paintings.

Thank you for visiting this spring flower page.
Would you like to add a comment about spring time flowers ?

Comments are nice to read as it is a way of knowing that I am writing about topics people are interested in, thank you.

Updated: on 12/20/2013, 2uesday
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PeggyHazelwood on 04/30/2013

Your flowers are gorgeous. I love the snowdrops. I'd never seen those flowers before.

2uesday on 02/05/2013

Yes Katie, February is a bit grey in England some years, and the flowers appearing in the garden are like little beacons of the better days to come.

katiem2 on 02/03/2013

I can just imagine the beauty of English flowers in the gardens sprouting up soon. Beautiful :)K

2uesday on 02/01/2013

I was surprised to discover some primroses in flower in the garden this morning. I will have to add a photo of them. I think this is the earliest I have seen them bloom here, but they are in a sheltered place in the garden.

HollieT on 02/01/2013

This article has really cheered me up 2uesday, it's reminded me that spring is just a few weeks away and we'll be treated to a visual feast when things start to bloom. Can't way to take my camera out! :)

2uesday on 02/01/2013

Thank you Tolovaj I did not know about the reference to Snow White; I do remember that her mother saw the snow and the ebony when she wished for a beautiful daughter.

2uesday on 02/01/2013

Thank you brl, photos of flowers help me to look forward to the spring time.

Tolovaj on 02/01/2013

It seems everybody is waiting winter is over. At least adults... I am not particularly interested in flowers but I am always happy when I see snowdrops and other early spring flowers. Maybe one more off the record info: Snowdrop is one of the older names of more known Snow White (yes, I am talking about fairy tales, can't help it;)).

Guest on 02/01/2013

I love your gardening pages. So pretty and I always learn something.

sheilamarie on 02/01/2013

English gardens are so pretty! We always look forward to seeing our neighbor's snowdrops as the earliest bloomers here. Maybe I need to plant my own. We have so many deer that flower gardens have a short life. Here the deer even eat the "deerproof" flower varieties.

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